Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio filed for an Initial Public Offering on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The IPO is to the tune of $1.8 billion, making Nio the biggest Chinese carmaker on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company plans to list its shares on NYSE under the acronym NIO. The move follows the EV maker’s first commercial launch in the Chinese market in the form of the ES8 electric SUV. In the longer term, Nio plans to offer a complete portfolio of EVs for which it requires substantial funding. The company has so far delivered 500 units of the Tesla Model X-rivaling ES8, each of which is priced at about $65,000, and has revealed in its IPO filing that it has received 17,000 orders for the e-SUV.
Nio reported a loss of $502.6 million in the first six months of 2018, with $6.95 million in revenues. Founded originally as NextEV by Chinese entrepreneur William Li in 2014, it managed to rake in $1 billion of investments in its first round. One of the backers was Chinese investment giant Tencent. Nio aims to establish a global presence eventually. As of this year, China is its sole market, with U.S. operations coming up after the NYSE IPO is through. It has already set up a local division in the U.S. with an aim to further penetrate the Americas.
The Chinese EV maker is also testing autonomous driving technology and projects that it will achieve Level 4 autonomy by 2020. It first sprung in the spotlight a few months ago by setting a new lap record for electric cars at the Nurburgring. The car blazing the new record was the all-electric Nio EP9 which has been in production since 2016. Technology for the EP9 was developed through the company’s Formula-E racing team. Six units of the EP9 were sold to Nio’s investors for $1.2 million each, with the company announcing the sale of nine more to the general public.
There has been a recent upsurge in electric automotive startups either based in China or backed by Chinese investors. Prominent among those are names like Detroit Electric, Faraday Future, Byton, Xpeng, Lucid, WM Motor Technology, and Hybrid Kinetic. While all these startups are vying for the top spot in the EV industry, Nio seems to be the most promising firm with solid products that are being accepted readily by the public, investors and customers alike.